Who doesn't adore a great pair of jeans? They work just as easily digging up weeds in the backyard as they do dressed up on a Saturday night. Even more important-they're comfortable. So when I discovered it was possible to buy organic denim, I couldn't wait to start exploring all of the options. After all, the plants cultivated to make denim (usually cotton) can be loaded with just as much pesticides as the lettuce and carrots in your local supermarket. Which means, although they may make your thighs look amazing, conventional jeans can be harmful to the environment. I was surprised at the number of choices I actually have when it comes to organic denim (and not just with brands, but with style as well). From small boutique brands to a denim legend, it seems everyone is getting into an organic state of mind. Here are my favorites.

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We are constantly purchasing and repurchasing electronics, and one of the most purchased is the cell phone. Between all of the daily abuse a cell phone gets (I can't tell you how many times mine has dropped to the ground) and the emergence of 'newer!' 'fancier!' 'better!' phones, chances are you're replacing yours at least every two years. But did you ever stop to think about what happens from there? They usually get tossed in landfills where the phones may leak mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and other toxic substances into a local water supply. If they get incinerated then the same substances are put into the air. And according to Collective Good, there are currently more than 750 million cell phones hanging around in the trash or sitting in drawers. And every year another 150 million or more will get added to that list.

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We just keep building. Trees, grass and everything green are all consistently being bulldozed down to make room for condos, superstores and parking lots. It's a sad phenomenon that's turning our society into one of glass and steel. Luckily, a somewhat new idea is catching hold and buildings all over the world are topping their facades with green roofs. And when I say green, I literally mean green. as in grass. 

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If you're like me, more than once you've thought about giving up your current living conditions to move into a house built completely green and nontoxic (from the foundation to the floors). Of course in the real world, it simply isn't that easy. or affordable. But what is possible, and simpler than you may think, is to work with what you have. A few fast upgrades will deliver big results when it comes to being eco-friendly. It just takes a little research and a little planning. You can tackle them all at once, or just choose to do one at a time. Either way, it's an easy way to go green and still have time to bake that loaf of organic 12-grain bread. 

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Scrubbing your floor with chemicals is really just as bad as scrubbing your face with chemicals. And pretty much every cleaner you'll find on store shelves contains a veritable who's who list of toxic ingredients. Although the long-term health effects of chemicals vary greatly-due to the level of toxicity and the amount of exposure-some have been known to include eye and respiratory irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders and memory impairment according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission states that, of common household chemical compounds, 150 have been linked to allergies, birth defects and even cancer. 

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Mia Ljungberg, Danish travel journalist resident in Stockholm, Sweden and Quito, Ecuador. She spends most of the year travelling and writing about eco friendly places around the world. She is a fulltime travel consultant and writer for Organic Style. 

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Those lucky enough to live in charming little towns with quaint boutiques or giant metropolitan areas with enough shopping destinations to satiate even the biggest addict may not be as reliable on online shopping as the rest of us. This is especially true when it comes to eco-friendly shopping. Although the movement to go green is rapidly (and thankfully) expanding, it still can be challenging to find really cute, well-made and practical goods in the stores. Which is why I love turning to the web. And the newest store I've added to my favorites list is Branch (http://www.branchhome.com), an online boutique that's beautiful to browse through and filled with tons of drool-worthy items. 

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Wipe Out Wipes

February 12, 2008

Years ago, pretty much one type of wipe existed: the baby wipe. Now store shelves are flooded with every sort of wipe imaginable. You can scrub your tub, disinfect your sink, mop your floor, clean your windows, tan your body and even exfoliate your face with 'easy to use' trash-filling wipes. We're constantly and steadily turning into a throwaway society. From water bottles to plastic storage containers, everything is quickly becoming 'use it and lose it'. 

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If you think a rose is just a rose, you're in for a surprise. Most roses you find at the local floral shop are grown with the help of pesticides and other decidedly un-eco-friendly methods. But Gerald Prolman, founder of Organic Bouquet changed all that when he created a company dedicated to sustainably-grown flowers. All of the flowers featured on the site, including the amazing organic rose bouquets available for Valentine's Day, are grown and harvested specifically to minimize environmental damage, conserve biodiversity and improve the working conditions of the farmers. 

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Every time you turn on the evening news these days another toy has been recalled due to toxic ingredients. Have you started breaking into a cold sweat every time you see your toddler stick a random piece of colored plastic into her mouth? Then it's definitely time to go green. If you've been resisting because you thought the only eco-friendly toy options were so completely boring and lackluster that your kids would revolt, think again. These days, organic toys are just as colorful, creative and attention grabbing as the questionable ones found in the mall. 

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